While defeated Virginia Democrat Andrew P. Miller Jr. continues to weigh the possibility of seeking a recount, Republican Senator-elect John W. Warner went to the Capitol yesterday and began making plans to succeed Sen. William L. Scott (R-Va.) in January.
Warner met with Senate Republican staff aides and visited half a dozen Senate offices, conferring about possible committee assignments and hiring aides.
"I was extremely heartened by the quality and quantity of the applicants," Warner said after trooping through the Capitol and Senate office buildings. He said he has more than 300 job applicants from which to pick his staff.
Miller had been on Capitol Hill a day earlier, conferring with staff members of the Senate Rules and Administration Committee.
William McWhorter Cochrane, staff director of the Rules Committee, said Miller talked with several staffers but didn't attempt to talk to any senators who are members of the committee. Cochrane said Miller made no specific request for action by the committee.
Miller has not conceded defeat, although the official canvass by the Virginia Board of Elections, completed Monday, showed that Warner had won by 4,721 votes out of 1.2 million cast.
Richmond lawyer Anthony Troy, like Miller a former state attorney general, said Miller does not have the $120,000 needed to finance a recount of the Nov. 7 election. Miller spent two days here this week attempting to raise the money, but it was not known how successful he had been.
Troy, who is serving as Miller's lawyer, said Miller is "considering" appealing the election result to the Rules Committee, which has the power to order a recount without expense to Miller.
Troy said Miller will make his decision by Dec. 7.
Although the Senate Rules Committee staff would not comment on Miller's situation, it was considered unlikely the committee would authorize a recount unless or until Miller had exhausted all of his remedies -- including a recount -- in Virginia.
Warner said that since his certification Monday as the winner he had "the legal obligation" to begin the process of preparing to assume office on Jan. 3.
The decision about a recount "is entirely up to Mr. Miller and the state of Virginia," Warner said. "There are options available to him."
Warner met with William F. Hildenbrand, secretary to the Senate minority, who told him he should make his requests for committee assignments in writing by Christmas, although those decisions will not be made until the 96th Congress convenes on Jan. 15. Warner, a former secretary of the Navy, is believed to be anxious to serve on the Armed Services Committee, although he would not confirm that yesterday.